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LASER

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Laser biography
Laser is another one of those obscure RPI bands from the classic period who have become legendary due to the rarity of the original vinyl release and the enthusiasm of collectors. Musically they were not one of the historically important leading bands of the genre but instead one of the many secondary groups that fans delve into after acquiring the classics. Born in Rome in the late 1960s, the band released a single in 1972 and the full length album Vita Sul Pianeta (Life on Earth) in 1973. Like so many RPI bands of this era they had very little studio time and no promotional support. This along with the pending military duty of their keyboardist led the band to split up shortly after their album's release. The album was a concept work about the evolution of life on the planet. Their sound was mainly a medium to hard rock mixed with progressive rock and psych-pop. Short, basic tracks in the 3-5 minute range left time for only minimal improvisation. While it is very far from the best RPI titles it is not without its charming qualities and I've seen it judged far too harshly in certain blogs and reviews. There are some very nice melodies and catchy moments, some decent playing, and plenty of that Italian rock spirit.

Thankfully the CD was reissued by the great archivists at Mellow Records so serious RPI fans of another generation can discover this band. I was able to uncover little else about the band. Drummer Antonello Musso moved to America in the mid 1970s. I hope he will contact me to flesh out the story of Laser in more detail. (Find me on the "member list" as Finnforest, in the Forums. Or off the lead page under Collaborators.)
[Finnforest/Jim Russell]

Photo credit: Laser, live in 1973. Antonello Musso collection.

Laser official website

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LASER discography


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LASER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.93 | 10 ratings
Vita Sul Pianeta
1973

LASER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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LASER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vita Sul Pianeta by LASER album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.93 | 10 ratings

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Vita Sul Pianeta
Laser Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A minor gem which I personally loved

Laser is an obscure 5-piece from Rome who released one album in the heart of the classic period and then vanished (the old familiar RPI tale, sadly). They are not a crucial RPI band by any means, neither historically groundbreaking nor close to the best the genre has to offer. And yet they are not without their charms. Like so many RPI bands of this era they had very little studio time and no promotional support. This along with the personal issues of some band members led them to split up shortly after the album's release. The original vinyl pressing of a few hundred copies made this album highly sought after by Italian rock collectors and its rarity made it a minor legend. Thankfully the Mellow Records reissue allows us modern day fans to hear the album without too much time and expense.

The album (translates to "Life on Earth") was a concept work about the evolution of life on the planet. Their sound was mainly a medium to hard rock mixed with progressive rock, blues-rock, and psych-pop. Short, often basic, yet addicting tracks in the 3-5 minute range left time for only minimal improvisation. And yet while far from the best RPI titles it is not without many charming qualities and I've seen it judged far too harshly in certain blogs and reviews. There are very nice melodies and many catchy moments, some decent playing, and plenty of that Italian rock spirit. Scented Gardens notes "The main attractions here are some superb psychedelic fuzz guitar parts, recalling American underground heavy psychedelia of the late sixties." Laser has been noted to sound like Ricordi D'Infanzia and I would add they remind me a little bit of The Doors live on a rough night. The songs are not complex by prog standards and yet they are embellished nicely with a prominent keys, good rowdy lead guitar, solid drumming and boisterous, often over-the-top vocals. I believe there are two singers, one who reminds me of Jumbo's vocalist and the other like the high-pitched dude in New Trolls. "Dove Andremo" has an explosive section of dual guitars over building organ and dramatic vocal---cool heavy/psych vibe! Or take the trippy guitar intro to "Eri Importante" which almost sounds like an acid-blues set The Dead might have launched into around 1970. More than once they sounded influenced by the hippie blues of the west coast, think Big Brother or Canned Heat, but with Italian vocals and organ! Yes they sound a bit unpolished in places but I can almost guarantee you they had about 8 hours to record this. They probably warmed up and tore through their set live in the studio, or almost live. The lyrics are purportedly pretty cheesy but that's never a concern for me. Production issues and occasional mistakes aside Laser is a fun band. They're like a jammin' local garage band who decided to try a high-minded "proggy" album to fit in with what was happening around them. And those influences mixed with the slightly raw sound and economical melodies really work for me.

While I recognize this title is strictly for RPI fans with an already deep collection of the essential titles, I have to award 3 stars anyway, and frankly I like it better than that myself. I found Laser to be a personable and spirited little band. They're a bit rough around the edges but in this case it only made them more endearing. If you're going for the deep collection you may wish to take a chance on Laser.

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